Self-Care: it’s one of those words and activities that seems to be thrown around all too often. From yoga to face masks to binging tv, everyone has a take on the ‘best’ self-care tactics. But self-care is more than just something you consume, it’s a deeply personal and unique act and its important to figure out what works best for you. Below are some suggestions and ways to incorporate self-care actions into your routine.
Power of Elimination
No, this step isn’t about crossing things off the list until you are left with one self-care tactic. Instead, make a list of things you don’t want to do. This can be things like, no work emails after 5, or no drinks during the week because it makes you feel tired and groggy. This boundary list can be short and sweet and consists of things that you think contribute to your stress. There’s power in eliminating those things.
Spend Some Time Every Day in Meditation
Not everyone is big on meditation. For some, the silence is deafening. Instead, many like to participate in something called quietude, which is literally just a state of stillness and calmness. This element in self-care is wonderful because you can control exactly what it consists of. For some this might mean listening to their favorite podcast for 10 minutes in their car before they walk inside, for others, it can be drinking a cup of coffee first thing in the morning at the kitchen table before anyone else wakes up. Quietude just makes space for your heart and head to connect and take a deep breath, for as long or as little time as you want.
Chat with a Loved One
Laughing and catching up with friends or family members works almost like an emotional reset. When we talk to someone who loves us, understands us, and sees us, serotonin is released in our bodies. The simple act of having a conversation with a positive force in your life is an enjoyable act of self-care. Humans need people.
Find What You Love
So often as we grow more tangled in work and with the realities of life, our hobbies and outside interests pay the price. A nurturing act of self-care is to reconnect with those interests, or find new ones, and make a concerted effort to include them in your routine. Perhaps you used to love drawing, but recently let it go because you were too busy. Try setting aside 30 minutes once a week to allow yourself to draw and just enjoy those minutes spent with your art.
The Power of Sleep
Finally, the best way to incorporate self-care into your life is to ensure that your sleeping habits are healthy and fit for your needs. Adults generally need 8 – 9 hours of sleep a night, but this can be hard with busy schedules and responsibilities. Making sure your sleep space is clutter-free, comfortable, and calming to you is vital. The good thing about this tip is that you are already doing an act of self-care every night, consciously thinking about how you can make it better just improves it.